Family, Spiritual, Travel

Popcorn had a Son Named James

Popcorn Sutton was a famous bootlegger. His illegitimate youngest son was James. James was a close friend of my dad and they came for Christmas a few years back. We experienced some interesting tales.




James taught us how to tell what proof each moonshine was. Never had to use this information, but chock it up for, “interesting”.

James was always seeking his estranged dad’s approval. He was a steady runner of moonshine from when he was old enough to reach the pedals of a truck. His area was Cocke county which was the home of many distilleries up in the hills, not far from the Smokey Mountains. His customers would include neighbors and local judges. They left cash in envelopes and James would replace them with jars of moonshine.

His tee...

Family, Spiritual, Travel

How to Vet a Spouse

The poor dear. So many will say “yes” today to proposals of marriage. I feel compelled to tell the story – a love story going on twenty years now. Have you ever had a Fonzy moment.




I had a Fonzy moment when I had been dating a very tall, sweet spirited, gentle man for about a year and a half. He wanted to date for a while because I had married my first husband twice. That’s another story but for some other time. Let’s just say, I was reminded of “what God has joined together…..and you know the rest. I was very spiritually immature.

On to the sweetheart. He was saying goodbye in the doorway and the entrance gave me just the right height to look into his eyes as he was departing...

Pony Lady, Spiritual, Travel

How to Prepare for Heaven

Recently reminded of someone dear who went to be with Jesus. She asked me to buy her a large print Bible and help her memorize the Apostles. She wanted to make sure she recognized them when she got to heaven. Well, I’m sure our eyes will be spiritual and this may not apply but she worked hard on that project and her last breath was peaceful.


The book “90 Minutes in Heaven” tells a true story of a pastor who was in an accident and assumed dead as he remained in his car off the side of the road. Another pastor leaving the same conference stopped his car went to the car and crawled from the back of the car and put his hand on the man’s shoulder and prayed and sang. “Jesus loves me” to the man assumed not of this world...

Recipes, Spiritual

How to Make a Proper Cup of Tea

Hot tea is soulful. It makes you feel better on a cold day, at breakfast or lunch. In the evening if you have a cough it helps you relax. Of course the hot tea should be suited to the occasion.



Did you know there are references to hot tea in the Bible. You can look them up. Tea has been regarded medicinal since the beginning of time. We fell in love with lavender tea on a trip to Hawaii. In Mexico we frequently had Mayan tea which was similar to Chai with a sweet red pepper spice in it.

There is one way to destroy a lovely cup of tea. We need to share this so we can spare any bitter tea experiences. On a trip to London and a college Eurail summer, we had tea o’le and to this day that is my very favorite way to enjoy tea.

When visiting...

Family, Recipes, Travel

How to Honor a Reunion

Recently I had the great experience to see my high school best friend. Wow, it was as if no time had passed. We laughed and traded memories. Shortly after I met with another friend and he was meeting up with his high school best friend.




I never heard two grown men giggle so much telling stories of dogs chasing them and how they “took care of it”, what were their old girlfriends up to, going to the drive in movies. What a hoot.

From my best friend I got an old fashioned macaroni and cheese recipe and yes already made a batch. The secret is, well there are many secrets. Use large size elbow macaroni, cook the noodles. Add a stick of butter after cooking and draining the noodles...

Family, Pony Lady, Travel

Just Do It per Grandma

Nike may think they originated the “just do it” phrase. Not so much.  My Grandma who would now be over one hundred, were she still on terra firma, when in conversation would respond to things we were discussing for choices, “just do it”.



Upon travelling to visit her to introduce her to my soon to be husband, we arrived and she had all the counters covered in her upcoming buffet. At least it would be her smorgasbord after moi cooked and prepared it for her. She had pulled most everything from her freezer including fried shrimp, chicken nuggets, chicken liver, (yep) french fries, various vegetables and the makings for cornbread and hot cakes.

While I was instructed to “just do it” in a most loving grandmotherly voice...

Family, Spiritual, Travel

How to Encourage Friends

Without words, finding ways to lift someone’s spirit and put new thoughts in their day is a huge paradigm shift. Recently as in during the holidays several people who come across my path frequently told me they were sad during this time of year.




There are memories of loved ones, habits and celebrations that change over the course of time, yet recalling their memories is painful. Our pastor is always eloquently speaking edgy phrases and one we like to quote often is “the ground is level at the foot of the cross”.

On a recent trip there were some rocks with sides, most of them were chunky and bright white...

Family, Spiritual, Travel

How to Be a Teamplayer

There was a skipper of a sailboat doing a solo sailing. This very unfortunate sailor got caught in a storm and washed up on an island. He met a man that had also been shipwrecked on the island. He asked the man observing there was more than one building he had made of island material, “what is the structure you have built over there”? The man replied “that is where I go to church”.




The sailor asked “what is the other building over on the other side? The man replied “that’s where I used to go to church”.

Where is the hope for living with rules, laws, government, other people if you cannot get along with yourself shipwrecked on an island.

The sailor probably fixed his sailboat extra quickly and would have even rowed to get himself clear...

Family, Pets

How to Deal with a Dogbite

Visiting a builder’s home in the neighborhood we were standing in the kitchen of their new home. Then there appeared a hefty lab mix pit bull sort of large dog. He came up to us and we were petting him for some time. While talking to the homeowner and petting looking down occasionally and seeing the dog being still and looking back up.




This went on for a few minutes, more than a few, perhaps ten minutes. For whatever reason the dog suddenly up on his hind legs buries his muzzle in my face next to my nose and in going back down his large upper cuspid fang cuts through my upper lip like butter. Into action we are trying to stop the bleeding and apply ice. I kept saying “I am fine, I am fine”...

Travel

Adult Family Travel

Packing, I had some good reading material and it took the first stop at the first airport gate to lose my book. Man, I was looking forward to reading that book and heck I had already started and about a third of the way through. Then Mom got cold feet and there go my elf socks you are supposed to wear before Christmas. Never saw them till after the vacation was over. Oh, yeah, “may I borrow some lipstick”. Reaching in the purse with all the travel paraphernalia, I pull out the Estee Lauder. Not the Estee Lauder, it’s my favorite. Here goes to mom, cannot have chapped lips changing latitudes and it was a very long trip. Next day comes “see if they have any buttermilk”. Huh? Turns out buttermilk is good for fever blisters. Now on the search in a foreign city for buttermilk in Spanish...